IN Frederick Knott's 1966 suspense thriller, a doll has been brought from Amsterdam to London by photographer Sam Henderson (Oliver Mellor), who is unaware that it contains heroin.

The doll has since disappeared from his basement flat in Notting Hill Gate, London, and three petty crooks have made it their murderous mission to find it. Those crooks, con artists all, are Graeme Brookes's mean Croker, Jack Ellis's smooth, duplicitous Mike, and Tim Treloar's creepy Roat, a malevolent force who has swapped from the good side of the law to the bad.

The photographer has made a snappy exit to an assignment in Brighton, leaving the flat in the hands of his wife, Susy. Played by the visually impaired but remarkably adept Karina Jones, she is blind, which heightens her other senses, making her both very suspicious of the motives and movements of the terrible trio and in turn a smart opponent to their scheme.

Mind you, Susy has had practice aplenty in detecting odd behaviour. Her teenage tantrum of a bespectacled neighbour, Gloria (Shannon Rewcroft), is liable to throw a wobbly at the mere mention of "four eyes". What a weird girl in a genuinely strange Sixties' period piece.

Alastair Whatley's direction builds menace, David Woodhead's design tightens the claustrophobia, but loose ends befuddle and the sparsity of light relief – until the increasingly absurd Hammer Horror ending – rivals the lack of light at the finale. How fitting that this baffling oddball mystery should end in darkness.

The Original Theatre Company's Wait Until Dark runs at York Theatre Royal until Saturday, 7.30pm and 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 623568 or at